Hackers Charged with Fraud, Conspiracy Regarding 120,000 iPad Users' Info

Chris CrumIT Management

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Two men have reportedly been charged after allegedly hacking into AT&T's servers and accessing email addresses and other information from 120,000 iPad users last June. The two, Daniel Spitler and Andrew Auernheimer, have been brought up on fraud and conspiracy charges, according to Reuters, which reports:

According to the complaint, the defendants used an "account slurper" to conduct a "brute force attack" on AT&T servers, randomly guessing at user data until it could match names with emails.

2 Charged After iPad hackingsSpitler and Auernheimer then supplied the stolen data to the gossip website Gawker, which published some of the detail, prosecutors said.

Back in June, Gawker called the incident Apple's worst security breach, and reported that among those affected were "thousands of A-listers in finance, politics and media," including New York Times CEO Janet Robinson, Diane Sawyer, Michael Bloomberg, Harvey Weinstein, and even former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

"The specific information exposed in the breach included subscribers' email addresses, coupled with an associated ID used to authenticate the subscriber on AT&T's network, known as the ICC-ID," Gawker's Ryan Tate reported back then. "ICC-ID stands for integrated circuit card identifier and is used to identify the SIM cards that associate a mobile device with a particular subscriber."

The breach also reportedly affected users in the Senate, House of representatives, Department of Justice, NADA, Department of Homeland Security, FAA, FCC, and other government organizations as well as people working for Google, Amazon, AOL, Microsoft, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley. 

Spitler and Auernheimer, who apparently worked for an operation going by the name of Goatse Security, are expected to appear in court in Newark and Fayetteville, Arkansas respectively. 

According to new numbers from IDC, tablet vendors shipped  4.8 million units in the third quarter of 2010 (up from 3.3 million units in the second quarter) with the iPad making up nearly 90% of those.

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.